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ACJS 2019 Presidential Address Taking Responsibility for Justice: transforming Criminal Justice at the Intersection of Human Rights and Activism
Justice Quarterly  (IF4.717),  Pub Date : 2020-11-28, DOI:
Faith E. Lutze


In this presidential address, Dr. Faith Lutze argues in order for criminal justice and criminology to remain relevant it is necessary for theorists, researchers, educators, and practitioners to take responsibility for justice by embracing the principles of human rights and actively undermining systems of oppression. First, she draws attention to the “personal is political” and the need to humanize our research and reframe the static narratives defining our discipline. Second, she argues that defaulting to the criminal justice system to solve complex social problems leads to failure for professionals, the justice involved, and marginalized communities. Third, she argues that evidence-based practice, although important to harm reduction, will ultimately fail because it exists within systems of oppression that remain unchanged. Finally, she argues that for the disciplines of criminology and criminal justice to remain relevant they must move beyond narrowly defined distributive models of reform and actively use science, education, and practice to undermine systems of oppression that violate human rights and perpetuate dominance over vulnerable and marginalized communities.• • •